A large group of parents and supporters of striking Educational Assistants attended Tuesday’s meeting of the Hanover School Board. Many were expecting an opportunity to speak to the school board, but that did not happen.
According to Board Operations and Procedural By-laws, delegations wishing to speak at a board meeting must follow requirements including a written submission in advance.
Chair Brad Unger offered an apology to start the meeting, indicating that he had provided misinformation via email to a couple of people who were questioning the use of temp agencies to cover for striking educational assistants.
“I tried to provide good information to both of the two individuals who emailed me, but I was incorrect in the information I gave. It was false. When I realized this, I contacted the two individuals through e-mail again and admitted my mistake and corrected it. One of the individuals emailed me back almost straight away, appreciating my honesty. And the other one did not respond back and that's fine, they don't have to.
“But it has come to my attention that the information that I gave, and in fact the whole e-mail to the other individual, has been spread and perhaps many of you in this room have read it. I apologize for this confusion because it has muddied the waters of an already tense topic. So, I apologize. I take full responsibility for providing incorrect information and that has caused confusion.”
Unger also stated that the school division has no intention of ever locking EA’s out during strike action.
“They're welcome back at any time,” he offered.
Unger says the school board is willing to meet with CLAC at any time to continue negotiations.
It was noted that there were no delegations on the agenda, and as such, there would be no presentations from the public.
The group of approximately 40 people stayed throughout the meeting. When the public portion of the meeting came to an end, a couple of people stood before the trustees and began making a presentation, addressing the EA strike.
Unger reminded the speakers that there were no presentations on the agenda and that the public portion of the meeting was over.
When the parents continued with their presentation, the board exited the meeting room and harsh words were spoken toward the trustees and administration.
Normal operating procedures for addressing the board include submitting a written request to make a presentation at the public meeting. That request needs to be made by noon on Thursday prior to the meeting.
Security personnel were present, and the meeting space cleared peacefully after a few minutes.
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